February 15-26. The vPlus Festival is an online festival from Potential Plus UK, full of workshops, webinars and discussions for young people with enquiring minds, their families and schools.
About Potential Plus UK and High Learning Potential
Do you have a child with a curious mind? A child who is bright for their age, who learns quickly and shows advanced thinking? They may be a child with high learning potential.
Who are Potential Plus UK?
For over 50 years, the charity Potential Plus UK (formerly the National Association for Gifted Children) has supported children and young people with high learning potential (gifted / more able), their families and schools.
We believe that children and young adults of all ages should be given the best chance to succeed in life and to fulfil their potential. Just as children with a lower learning potential will require help and assistance along their academic journey, so do children with a higher learning potential.
What is High Learning Potential?
Terms like ‘More Able’, ‘Gifted’, ‘High Learning Potential’ are used to describe children who have an advanced thinking ability. These terms are most often applied to children with abilities in the top 2-5% of the population.
Children with high learning potential often share similar characteristics, like an ability to understand information in depth, make quick analyses and learn quickly. If you think your child might have high learning potential, visit Potential Plus UK’s free, online questionnaire on our main website to see if your child matches these characteristics, or read our free advice sheet PA102 Characteristics of Children with High Learning Potential to go into those characteristics in more depth.
Why Do Children with High Learning Potential Need Help?
A common misconception is that “bright/gifted children” don’t need help. They “always get the top marks”, they “don’t struggle to understand things”, they can be “left to themselves to do things as they will succeed anyway”. Some children or young people with high learning potential do cope brilliantly with their gifts and develop their potential with the support of family, friends and school. However, others can struggle to cope, while their intelligence masks their genuine need for help.
Typical problems children may encounter include:
they are bored at school (almost all of the time – they learned almost everything that they are being taught at school years before and in greater depth or pick everything up the first time that they are taught and then have to repeat it day after day)
they don’t fit in socially (they lack playdates; aren’t invited to birthday parties; they’re bullied for being “geeks or nerds”; they wish they had just one friend that feels as passionately and deeply about things as they do)
they dumb down their ability to fit in and never learn how to stretch themselves or how to make and recover from mistakes, or how cope with issues with perfectionism
they struggle to understand why they are different and develop anxiety or other mental health issues
they have high intelligence which is coupled with a special education requirement or disability, known as Dual or Multiple Exceptionality (DME)
they aren’t recognised as having Dual or Multiple Exceptionality, as their high ability compensates for the disability, or the disability masks their ability, making the child appear “average” to themselves or to those around them.
Without help these children may never fulfil their potential to the best of their capabilities. This is where Potential Plus UK works to bridge the gap. Understanding the needs of high potential learners and ensuring that their learning is encouraged and stimulated at both home and school is vital. We strive to give them the resilience and support needed to meet their social and emotional needs, so that they can develop to their maximum.
We work with families, schools and professionals to help them to understand how to support the child or young adult through their learning journey. We also help children and young people to realise that their gift is exactly that – a gift – and to flourish into adulthood.
You’ve completed the questionnaire and read the characteristics and you are convinced that your child has high learning potential – where do you go from here?
Potential Plus UK is here to help support all families on their journey.
Visit our main website to find out more about high learning potential, how to support and advocate for your child and about the services we offer, including events like this online festival. potentialplusuk.org